Match Report - Yate Town v Salisbury FC

Yate Town 1 Salisbury FC 3

Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round replay

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

By Alec Hayter

This was, as expected, a very difficult game, but with a colourful, unfortunate red card  riot ending. However, it was job done and the Whites are safely through into the next round where they will visit Woodspring Stadium to play National League South side Weston-super-Mare on Saturday week.

This was the first Bluebells loss this season and it was easy to understand why as they looked in the early stages to maximise home advantage and gain an early lead.

On 5 minutes Salisbury were lucky when Jake Hallett nervously flapped at an Adam Price cross, the ball hitting Nick Peare's body but then shaving the upright. Seconds later the keeper uncharacteristically allowed the ball to escape his grasp again from a cross.

After 12 minutes Peare, who was equally effective in this game as he was at Salisbury on Saturday, sent a 20 yard free-kick over the top.

The home side could have been two up and it.was all Yate with very little being seen of the Salisbury attack until just after the half hour when Josh Sommerton's cross in from the left gave Danny Young a sharp chance at the near post where Young’s touch, or lack of it, let him down.

Six minutes before the interval Hallett regained some confidence when after a long run Ollie Mayhew tested him with a low shot which he did well to keep out with his left hand, but the keeper's respite was brief as he tried to punch the resulting corner clear but only succeeded in finding Josh Ford who hammered the ball in through a crowded box to give his side an interval lead, about which there could not have been too much argument. The first half had borne a striking resemblance to the first tie with Salisbury’s lack of tempo. However, before the half-time whistle went Lewis Benson cut in from wide right and sent in a fierce left foot shot which home keeper Ross Grimshaw dealt with, not without difficulty.

In spite of going a goal behind, that Benson effort must have lifted the spirits and two minutes after the re-start Chris Shephard put Young away down the left. Young, who has put in some more lively and effective appearances of late, squared the ball into the box where Zach Kotwica might have finished the job, but somehow got the ball stuck under his feet. His likely embarrassment was avoided with the award of what looked a fairly soft penalty as he tumbled to the ground.

Shephard was given the opportunity to equalise, which he duly did, and that seemed to have an extreme effect on Yate's approach as they immediately started to chase the game, possibly unwisely so as things then began to open up. They had their chances however and on 53 minutes Ross Langworthy ran from the halfway line after evading Jake Wannell's interception and hit a stinging cross shot just past the far post.

The Whites replied in the best possible way when four minutes later Shephard was again involved, squaring the ball, following a short free-kick, across the box where Wannell showed that he can score with his feet as well as his head, finishing the job. Manager Steve Claridge leapt at least two feet in the air as his side were at last beginning to show their capabilities.

Just after the hour Shephard was instrumental in setting up another opportunity with his crossfield ball giving Young another chance, but the winger’s well hit effort whistled past the far post with Grimshaw well beaten. Having impressed for most of the game Young then blotted his copybook when through one-on-one, courtesy of a Benson pass, by dallying and allowing himself to be blocked out.


Whites' goalscorers Chris Shephard, Jake Wannell and Lewis Benson, who ensured the chance to give Weston a 'mare in the next round late at Yate

Photos by Roger Elliott

Shephard left the action with what initially looked like a hamstring injury but thankfully turned out to be no more than cramp at a time when the game was looking far from safe for the visitors.

On 70 minutes Yate were unlucky when Price's shot was deflected and looped onto the bar, but, by the same token at the other end Tom Whelan tested Grimshaw with a shot of his own which needed a good stop.

As the Bluebells made a last desperate effort to force extra time it took a superb interception from Elliot Wheeler to deny Mehew who was clean through and about to pull the trigger. Seconds later the impressive Peare latched onto a long cross from the Yate right but could only loop his header over the top, but in the last minute of the intended time added Young squared the ball to Benson who calmly dispatched it for a two goal comfort cushion. The manager leapt at least 3 feet in the air this time!

Was that match over? Certainly not. An unwise and unnecessary tackle by Wheeler saw him receive his marching orders and in the following melee Referee Neal Platt decided to cool everything down by fanning his red card a further three times, once to Darren Mullings and then  to Yate's Charlie Hitchings and Mehew, when all that everybody really wanted was to get in their cars and go home! In defence of the referee however, who had not endeared himself to either side up to that point, the match was still in progress and he had no alternative other than delay our departure.

There must be a concern over the red cards which mean that  both players will be unavailable the next round at Weston-super-Mare. Any reduction in available squad numbers is regrettable to say the least, and to clarify the situation regarding Mullings and Wheeler, their three match bans will commence next Tuesday.

After this unwanted extra game we return to league action on Saturday at home to Staines Town who occupy 17th place, two below ourselves, on goal difference, so a close game is in prospect. That is quickly followed by a trip to Walton Casuals.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that the Whites have completely turned the corner after their win at Yate, but they've certainly got halfway round it. To ensure they complete the trip please make sure you make the trip to the Ray Mac on Saturday and, if you can, to the Walton game.


Yate Town: Grimshaw, Evans, Keightley, Peare, Ford (Boulton 82), Hitchings, Price (Sims-Burgess 77), Guest, Mehew, Langworthy, Twyman.

Subs not used: Kamara, Cann, Spruce, Rennie, Hawkins.

Salisbury FC: Hallett, Wheeler, Sommerton, Whelan, O'Keefe, Wannell, Benson, Dawson, Kotwica, Shephard (Mullings 66), Young.

Subs not used: Hopper, Fitchett, Haysham, Partridge, Cooper, Searle.

Attendance: 252                   Referee: N Pratt